Godalming area birds

Godalming area birds

Saturday, 12 August 2017

7th-12th August

Spotted Flycatcher, 10/8/2017
At the start of 2017 I definitely didn't target the end of July and beginning of August to be a time to rack up year ticks, and so 4 in 3 weeks have been most unexpected. Tree Pipit became my 112th bird of the year on Friday when an individual flew east over Junction Field, calling several times. Rather shockingly, this somewhat early individual is only my second record here, and the third known bird.

Counts of 275 and 180 Tree Piptis over Fife were made last weekend, with the Scandinavian population beginning it's journey south. The weather wasn't bad for movement on Friday, with a gentle westerly and next to no cloud cover. A trickle of Swallows south-east, and an early Reed Bunting south, were the other highlights of a 2 and 3/4 hour vis-mig session (full log of movers below).
 
There was an increase of migrants on the deck, too, with 5 Willow Warblers continuing their good run here of late, and a rather tired looking Spotted Flycatcher on Allden's Hill the previous evening. This species is abundant at present - almost any wooded area has a bird or two, and it's hard to know if these are moving or just the local families dispersing. The bird on the 10th was acting very much like a migrant, though, silent and preening between the odd fly-catch. I've linked some video of it here.

Little Owl youngster, 10/8/2017
Elsewhere the usual fare, with the Linnet/Goldfinch flock on the Ridge increasing slightly, and larger numbers of Chiffchaffs in seemingly every bush. Plenty of Woodpigeon family groups have been seen moving across the landscape in search of food. On Friday I counted a minimum of 52 during the vis-mig, often in flocks of 5 or more.

On the subject of families, the Thorncombe Park Little Owls have been successful, and the first fledged youngster to be seen was being particularly on Thursday evening, with dad in close attendance. It remains to be seen if the Bonhurst pair raised young, with the Gatestreet Farm birds having already lost their brood.